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  1. #1
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    Default Why hasn't George Lucas directed more films?

    i've always wondered why Lucas didn't direct more movies. Sure, he made a truckload of money with Star Wars films, media and selling to Disney, plus a bunch of producer credits. We see a glimpse of other movies he might make with THX1181 and American Graffiti, but surprisingly, nothing else. Kind of a waste of a career. By comparison, Steven Spielberg has a lot of producer credits and has probably lived off of Indiana Jones and Jaws royalties for years, but he still has had a pretty good output of films.

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    Mighty Member Castle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTTT View Post
    i've always wondered why Lucas didn't direct more movies. Sure, he made a truckload of money with Star Wars films, media and selling to Disney, plus a bunch of producer credits. We see a glimpse of other movies he might make with THX1181 and American Graffiti, but surprisingly, nothing else. Kind of a waste of a career. By comparison, Steven Spielberg has a lot of producer credits and has probably lived off of Indiana Jones and Jaws royalties for years, but he still has had a pretty good output of films.
    This used to bug me as well. His filmography is very small. I used to assume he spent almost 20 years working on the prequels after return of the jedi, so he had no time to make more movies.

  3. #3
    BANNED Joker's Avatar
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    It's because he's not very good at it. He's an idea man.

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    Ultimate Member Kirby101's Avatar
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    There came a time when the Old Gods died! The Brave died with the Cunning! The Noble perished locked in battle with unleashed Evil! It was the last day for them! An ancient era was passing in fiery holocaust!

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    BANNED Joker's Avatar
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    If' only he'd applied that theory to the prequels.

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    Ultimate Member Kirby101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joker View Post
    If' only he'd applied that theory to the prequels.
    I wished the guy who made the prequels had watched the original trilogy.
    There came a time when the Old Gods died! The Brave died with the Cunning! The Noble perished locked in battle with unleashed Evil! It was the last day for them! An ancient era was passing in fiery holocaust!

  7. #7
    Extraordinary Member Cyke's Avatar
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    Another thing to consider is that he's more of an auteur than Spielberg, even if he looks like Santa moved to a middle class suburb to raise his kids. It's why he had almost total control over the prequels. Being an auteur means you tend to want more power than what directors usually get, even compared to the likes of Scorcese and Nolan.

    But he's also built an incredible fortune where he could retire several lifetimes over and still create an from that. For all we know, putting in that amount of work with that small of a CV, with that huge fortune as the payoff, could be his dream, too. And if the dream does what it's meant to, then that talent didn't go to waste to the person it mattered to the most.

  8. #8
    BANNED Joker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirby101 View Post
    I wished the guy who made the prequels had watched the original trilogy.
    I wish the guy who made the prequels had understood what made the originals good!

  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTTT View Post
    i've always wondered why Lucas didn't direct more movies.
    The same reason why James Cameron never directed more movies than he could have. Or Terence Malick or even Stanley Kubrick.

    All of them were rich enough (Malick is privately wealthy thanks to oil money in his family even if his movies ain't blockbusters) and had clout enough that they didn't have to direct movies for a living. Most movie directors direct and get work or take jobs for the work. These guys don't have to do that. So they take their time, devote all their time, to a single movie or project and dedicate and iterate on that and that alone.

    Sure, he made a truckload of money with Star Wars films, media and selling to Disney, plus a bunch of producer credits. We see a glimpse of other movies he might make with THX1181 and American Graffiti, but surprisingly, nothing else.
    Lucas had a different conception of cinema than people like Spielberg. Spielberg is a director who likes making as many movies as possible, as many different kinds of movies as possible. But Lucas, like James Cameron, wants to expand cinema technologically and visually into stuff that's not been done before. Lucas is an originalist who likes to innovate and develop along that front. For him it's about a vision and the story is a way to convey that.

    Kind of a waste of a career.
    It's "a waste" only if you think Lucas making Star Wars is a mistake. And that can be argued. But since so many people here are SW fans that's kinda hypocritical.

    With just a few movies, George Lucas revolutionized cinema and the movie industry having an impact far greater than directors with a longer body of work. Someone like Alfred Hitchcock made like 50-odd movies in his career, but A NEW HOPE alone had an impact greater than all of that.

    Making a few movies doesn't mean someone's a waste, in and of itself. I mean THX-1138, there are directors who'd shave their full filmographies just to have that on their ledger.

    By comparison, Steven Spielberg has a lot of producer credits and has probably lived off of Indiana Jones and Jaws royalties for years, but he still has had a pretty good output of films.
    Lucas as a producer made many great films including Indiana Jones, Mishima, Tucker by Francis Ford Coppola, Akira Kurosawa's KAGEMUSHA, and many others. That's not nothing to sniff against.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joker View Post
    It's because he's not very good at it.
    Lucas is in fact a great director, far greater than anyone who directed Star Wars other than him. American Graffiti alone is a better film than everything Abrams, Johnson, Kershner, Marquand and others all did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirby101 View Post
    I wished the guy who made the prequels had watched the original trilogy.
    The Prequels were set decades before the OT and showcased the Republic, and it would have made zero sense in continuity terms for the prequels to look a thing like the OT. It was an entirely different universe and point of time, and that meant it had to have a totally new aesthetic.

    Lucas created a new aesthetic...whereas the palavers of Disney have basically just recycled the shopworn look of the OT even if some thirty years passed after the end of the Empire.
    Last edited by Revolutionary_Jack; 01-16-2021 at 02:05 PM.

  10. #10
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    Am I remembering incorrectly? I seem to recall that between OT and the Prequels, Lucas poured all his energy into developing new cinematic technology at Industrial Light And Magic, from which several innovative tech firms spun off.

    If I'm remembering this right, sounds to me like his interest just shifted.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member ChrisIII's Avatar
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    Part of it I think was that the first Star Wars was a very rough shoot, which led to him developing hypertension and exhaustion. So his health played a role in him deciding to step aside for a few decades before directing the prequels.
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  12. #12
    Ultimate Member Kirby101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post



    The Prequels were set decades before the OT and showcased the Republic, and it would have made zero sense in continuity terms for the prequels to look a thing like the OT. It was an entirely different universe and point of time, and that meant it had to have a totally new aesthetic. .
    It's not about anesthetics or a different story, there were so many contradictions to what we saw and heard from the later OT that it felt like it was made by someone who didn't watch the OT, let alone create it.
    There came a time when the Old Gods died! The Brave died with the Cunning! The Noble perished locked in battle with unleashed Evil! It was the last day for them! An ancient era was passing in fiery holocaust!

  13. #13
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisIII View Post
    Part of it I think was that the first Star Wars was a very rough shoot, which led to him developing hypertension and exhaustion. So his health played a role in him deciding to step aside for a few decades before directing the prequels.
    A NEW HOPE was a crazy draining experience. And it definitely did a number on him. THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RETURN OF THE JEDI which he merely produced also brought more involvement from him than he expected (in ESB it didn't help that Gary Kurtz made a mess and sent it overbudget and overschedule). He also had a divorce from Marcia Lucas...so some 10 years of working on Star Wars, coming into possession of an IP empire, wealth, coupled with personal and physical issues. I think that all drained him.

    The other thing about George Lucas that people don't realize is that he started out in his student films as an experimental film-maker...and his experimental films made in school are still prized by avant-garde enthusiasts (and you see a lof of that version of Lucas in the Prequels). So for him making movies wasn't really about telling a story in a conventional sense.

    Lucas originally didn't plan on directing the Prequels himself...he offered it to others but Spielberg and Ron Howard all insisted he should direct it himself. Lucas organized stuff so that the productions wouldn't be draining and by all accounts the prequels were more enjoyable for Lucas to make than the OT was and they represent the full version of what he wanted Star Wars to be.

  14. #14
    Fantastic Member green_garnish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    Am I remembering incorrectly? I seem to recall that between OT and the Prequels, Lucas poured all his energy into developing new cinematic technology at Industrial Light And Magic, from which several innovative tech firms spun off.

    If I'm remembering this right, sounds to me like his interest just shifted.
    The innovations from such efforts also led to far reaching breakthroughs in other disciples like medicine, where his tech was used to create real time 3D modeling of patients from CAT scans.

  15. #15
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirby101 View Post
    It's not about anesthetics or a different story, there were so many contradictions to what we saw and heard from the later OT that it felt like it was made by someone who didn't watch the OT, let alone create it.
    Everythin in the PT is consistent to the essence of what was established in the OT.

    I can go to the mat for that.

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